In Nancy Werlin’s “Double Helix,” 18-year-old Eli Samuels learns firsthand the potential downside of genetic experimentation after taking a job at Wyatt Transgenics. Tasked with taking down the lab from the inside, he realizes that science does not always get it right and that perfection does not exist.Continue Reading
Eli takes the job at Wyatt Transgenics to understand why his mother has Huntington's disease and why he does not. Eli refuses to quit, even after his father asks him to. Eli stumbles upon a hidden level in the building, but he thinks nothing of it. Only after meeting Kayla Matheson, who seems genetically perfect, and the death of his mother does Eli begin to question his boss, Quincy Wyatts.
After meeting Kayla, Eli's father comes clean about not wanting Eli to work at the lab. About 20 years earlier, Quincy extracted eggs from Eli's mother to find those that did not have the gene for Huntington's disease. Eli was one of those eggs, but so was Kayla, though she is positive for the gene. Eli learns that Quincy placed Kayla with a different family, which upset his parents.
After figuring out how to access the hidden level in the building, Eli and Kayla find rooms that Quincy uses to conduct his genetic tests, an office and a secret lab. They find enough evidence in the office to take down Quincy and his lab, and they find a number of frozen eggs that Quincy extracted from Eli's mother without telling her. He was so fixated on curing Huntington's disease that he lost sight of how his experiments and testing affected other people. Eli and Kayla destroy the lab and the eggs and go public with what they know, destroying Quincy's career in the process.Learn more about Fiction